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Workplace Excellence at RE:Connect – Some Highlights

Workplace Excellence at RE:Connect – Some Highlights
12 January 2021 | Updated 03 March 2021

ThisWeekinFM hosted a series of insightful sessions from a variety of industry speakers – and you can catch with them on-demand now.

ThisWeekinFM’s Workplace Excellence channel at RE:Connect, by Unissu combined insights from a diverse range of voices in the FM and built environment sector. We were lucky enough to hear from professionals from the world of AI, sustainability and even robotics in construction. 

If you weren’t able to attend the online conference, sessions are now available to watch on-demand, at a time that suits you. 

You can also catch up on sessions from the ThisWeekinFM team, where we look back at the defining moments of the past year with summaries of a selection of our top stories. 




Here are a couple of notable highlights from the day:


Luis De Souza – The Findings of the Workplace 2021 Survey


This Workplace 2021 Survey, conducted by ThisWeekinFM and NFS Technology, sought to identify some of the important drivers for change in the workplace.

Over 30,000 FM professionals were surveyed internationally, and Luis De Souza, NFS Technology Group CEO presented some of the key findings:


  • 56 per cent indicated that they would be making no change in their space profile
  • 34 per cent are looking to reduce space footprint, the majority by over 25 per cent 
  • 80 per cent highlighted homeworking as key workplace 2021 drivers
  • 77 per cent listed collaboration as key-dependent technologies, and 63 per cent named virtual meeting platforms as essential
  • IOT/Sensors and Way Finding did not feature significantly as top investment priorities
  • 55 per cent of respondents indicated that agile working would be increasing in 2021, a trend accelerated by COVID


Find out more about the survey’s insights, by viewing De Souza’s session here.


Planet Mark – Sustainability Themes in Workplace Excellence


The Planet Mark recognises outstanding achievements, encourages action, and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals. Their sustainability programme has developed into an internationally-recognised and trusted sustainability certification that has helped 400 organisations reduce their carbon year-on-year.

Jonathan Withey, Head of Business Development at The Planet Mark, held a session which made the business case for sustainability, and he also spoke about these issues may change in a post-pandemic world.

Withey predicts that there will be a greater reliance on digital channels and remote working will persist throughout 2021. He also mentioned a shift from short term CSR performance to long-term resiliency.

Key sustainability trends in the workplace were also discussed, including seeing workplaces as a centre for inspiring change in carbon reduction, as this remains high on board agendas, despite COVID. Jonathan highlighted that workplaces have an opportunity to use positive narratives as opposed to negative rhetoric, to promote their own constructive efforts and inspire others.

Watch Jonathan Withey’s session in full here. 



Picture: a graphic showing a plant, watering can, and cash


Katie King - Harnessing AI in the Built Environment


Katie King MBA is an Artificial Intelligence in business consultant and published author. She joined us to discuss how the surge in IoT and machine learning will enable efficiencies of scale in FM, not to mention across numerous other industries such as healthcare, marketing and travel.

King described how AI initiatives can be seen in our everyday lives already, speaking about the role of machine learning in vaccine development, and within grocery retail. In terms of AI in business, King spoke about its potential when it comes to recruitment.     

Certain AI tools are able to analyse more than 300 million social profiles, a feat no human could accomplish, King told the audience. AI can also be used to remove subconscious human biases, increasing the potential for a more diverse workforce.

King also spoke passionately about some of the myths surrounding AI, and emphasised how its use will help to improve and encourage skill sets such as complex problem-solving, critical thinking and analysis.

Catch up on Katie King’s session here. 

Picture: RE:Connect Graphic

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 12 January 2021


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